The Energy Digitalisation Taskforce was established by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem and Innovate UK to deliver a set of actionable recommendations that challenge the status quo and help deliver the digitalised energy system needed to reach Net Zero.
The key objectives of the taskforce were to:
Refocus the energy sector on the challenge and opportunities of Digitalisation as a core component of transformation, not just an enabler
Accelerate digitalisation of the energy system, enabling Net Zero compatible business models, markets, and industry structures
Draw on experience from other sectors and provide a focal point to ensure digitalisation efforts are coordinated and effective
Identify digitalisation gaps that require innovation support
Identify the governance risks that digitalisation raises and present frameworks to mitigate issues.
The Energy Digitalisation Taskforce recommendations are based around a single strategic aim of developing a modern, decarbonised digital energy system.
The six high-level recommendations from the Taskforce are as follows:
RECOMMENDATION 1:Unlock value of customer actions and assets – Crucially building trust and delivering control through a Consumer Consent portal, delivering a seamless ability for assets to connect and benefit from system value by mandating all large customer energy assets to be energy enabled.Consumer protection will need to be enhanced to reflect different risks and smart meter data needs to be released for the public good.
RECOMMENDATION 2:Deliver interoperability – The sector needs to deliver interoperability through the development and deployment of four Public Interest Digital Assets with particular focus on a ‘Digital Spine’ To ensure interoperability we can build on some existing assets but require Data Sharing Fabric,Data Catalogue and development of some limited but crucial Standards.
RECOMMENDATION 3: Implement new digital governance approach and entities – Governance of new digital assets and actions will be important and need to be developed soon. Governance around public interest assets, interacting algorithms and opening up regulated assets to digital competition will be important. There also needs to be a Digital Delivery Body established by Government to deliver the public interest assets quickly to be subsequently handed over to the sector.
RECOMMENDATION 4: Adopt digital security measures – Digital security principles and interventions are crucial but need to be fit for digital purposes with particular focus on cascade impacts, zero trust principles and a sharing culture.
RECOMMENDATION 5:Enable carbon monitoring and accounting – Carbon visibility sits at the heart of all we propose, but much greater carbon visibility and standardisation is required. We recommend that dynamic carbon monitoring is put in place, and an open carbon standard needs to be deployed economy wide.
RECOMMENDATION 6:Embed a digitalisation culture – Digitalisation is not valued or understood in all parts of the energy sector, with not enough skills or value given to digital assets and activities. BEIS should employ a Chief Data Officer and importantly investors and the rating agencies need to value digital assets as well as their traditional value assessment for infrastructure.
Figure 1: Six Energy Digitalisation Taskforce recommendations are based around a single strategic aim of developing a modern, decarbonised digital energy system.